Featured Teacher

Featured Teacher: Lee Kelly

Why do you practice?
I practice to remind myself that the box I tend put myself into is only a perception.  True freedom comes from contacting the
f e e l i n g
of unlimited inner space that fully embodied movement gives me.  I practice to remind myself that that imaginary box is made of my illusions that I need to be perfect.
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Featured Teacher: Linda Oshins

Why do you practice?
Honestly, I don’t know how anybody makes it through life without a yoga practice or something like it. I’ve practiced for different reasons through the years, depending on the challenges in my life, and yoga has always been the basis for change, growth, acceptance and, at some point, joy.

Why do you teach?
I teach to be part of the big practice—mine and other peoples’ experiences.

Inspirations?
I am grateful to a large number of teachers who have helped me through the years, but true inspiration for me comes from nature. The body/mind, part of the natural order are endlessly miraculous.

Who have you trained with?
Too many to mention. Right now, my teacher is Richard Miller. Also, Marcia Miller was my first yoga teacher and continues to be a inspiration today.

What style do you teach?
I used to teach what YOHI calls “hatha,” a style that uses props and sequences each class or personal practice differently, depending on the class feels at the time. Discerning ours actual needs is a practice in itself. Now I teach breath awareness practices, pranayama, and meditation, especially yoga nidra.

What’s your favorite food?
Bread, and I try not to eat it. But I love to cook and eat a wide range of veggies prepared in all different ways.

Do you own any animals?
I don’t have any live-in pets but I’m an avid bird watcher and know the birds at my feeders personally. Some are trained to take seed from my hand.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
Round bolster.

What style influences your teaching?
Iyengar; Angela and Victor’s energy based, internal practices; Richard Miller’s body sensing practices; Richard Miller’s iRest yoga nidra work.

Favorite yoga pose?
Back bend, any variation. Love to  open that front body!

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Lily or Rose

Your favorite item of clothing?
Loose pants!

What did you want to be when you were little?
A fiction writer

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
A trip to Morocco for a friend’s wedding. Being part of those festivities was unforgettable.

What is your mission?
My mission right now is to leave a legacy for younger yogis as I move toward retirement. I want to make opportunities for other people to realize their dreams.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
Marcia and Martha, along with a small group of my other close friends, saw me through the death of my husband. That was a long commitment. They were there supporting me for a couple years through the most intense period of grieving.

What books are you reading right now?
Rereading The Heart of the Yogi by Doug Keller because Jasmine asked to me write up a short, concise summary of the difference between dualism and non-dualism. I checked a couple good quotes and before I knew it I was deep into philosophical history again. Dipping into Making Love with Light as a daily contemplation; this book was a present from Marcia and has already earned a place on the bookshelf forever. For fiction, I’m reading Fall of Frost by Brian Hall, and poetry-wise it’s Stanley Kunitz’s Passing Through. I’m also addicted to Japanese Death Poems (my non-yoga friends think I’m crazy). They were written by Japanese monks on the verge of death. Here’s one by Daido Ichi’i.

A tune of non-being
Filling the void:
Spring sun
Snow whiteness
Bright clouds
Clear wind.

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Featured Teacher: Michael Murphy

Why do you practice?
I practice to learn about myself. Using what I learn on the mat to help me live a better life off my mat. I practice to create more space within myself, so that I have more room for prana and feeling.

Why do you teach?
I teach because I love yoga and have experienced how it can improve my life. I want to share this love with my students but mostly I want my students to learn about themselves.

Inspirations?
I am inspired by anyone with a smile on their face. Seeing other people happy makes me happy and inspires me to live with an optimistic outlook.

Who have you trained with?
Devarshi Steve Hartman, Megha Nancy Butterheim, Jovina Chan, Richard Freeman, David Swenson, Cyndi Lee

What style do you teach?
Vinyasa, slow flow, and power flow

What’s your favorite food?
Pho

What’s on your playlist right now?
My playlist is always changing but right now I’m probably listening to alt-j and the xx the most

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
My 85” Manduka Black Mat!!!!!!!

What style influences your teaching?
I blend the mindfulness of Kripalu with a powerful Vinyasa practice

Favorite yoga pose?
Bakasana – I love the lift through the bandhas and balance it takes to come into bakasana. It also takes trust in myself as I move my weight forward out over my hands.

Favorite quote?

“Through practice, I’ve come to see that the deepest source of my misery is not wanting things to be the way they are. Not wanting myself to be the way I am. Not wanting the world to be the way it is. Not wanting others to be the way they are. Whenever I’m suffering, I find this war with reality to be at the heart of the problem.” --Stephen Cope

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Firefly, and I’m still kinda upset about it being canceled.

Your favorite item of clothing?
For practice and teaching nothing is better than Lululemon Run: response shorts.

What drives you every day?
I absolutely love what I do and know that it brings joy and benefit to others.

Whom do you admire?
David Williams

What books are you reading right now?
I’m always reading “Light on Life” by BKS Iyengar, “Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy” by Gregor Maehle, “The Radiance Sutras” by Lorin Roche, and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The new book I’m reading currently is “The Great Work of Your Life” by Stephan Cope

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Featured Teacher: Marianne O’Neil

Why do you practice?
I could answer this question like this:  to build a bridge between the body, mind and outside world; to learn about the body, to relax, to experience the inner self, etc.  But I have really considered the question, and I am not sure why.  Why do any of us do anything?  Can we really answer that question?  I am not really sure if I have a choice about whether to practice, or about any other thing that I do in life.  Although it appears to be a choice, it just may be an appearance.

Why do you teach?
For me, teaching is an extension of and deepening of my practice.  In order to teach, I really have to look inside at the practice and motivation and understand the poses and practices in a way that allows me to make the movements have more universality rather than just for my practice that day.

Inspirations?
Everyone who wakes up each day and keeps the world going.

Who have you trained with?
Rodney and Colleen, Richard Miller and Anne Douglas, Richard Freeman, Doug Keller, Leslie Kaminoff, and Linda and Marcia.

What style do you teach?
Hatha

What’s your favorite food?
Red lentil soup and any Indian Food

What’s your nickname?
Ginge -- a reference to my alter ego on Gilligan’s Island.

Do you own any animals?
Yes!  Two goofy dogs.  Yogi is a black and white maltese-schitzu and Ralphie a black schitzu-cocker spaniel mix.

What’s on your playlist right now?
The High Kings, soundtrack from The Descendents, and Eric Church

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
Nothing!!  One of my favorite things about yoga is that you really don’t need anything other than your body.  But it is nice that props can make poses more accessible or help us to stay in them longer.

What style influences your teaching?
Currently, Krishnamacharya.

Favorite yoga pose?
Urdhva danurasana and savasanah

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Probably Seinfeld or Frazier

Your favorite item of clothing?
The boots my sons gave me for Christmas -- I wear them all the time.

What did you want to be when you were little? 
Big

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be? Why?
Tiger:  graceful, strong, fiercely courageous

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
I’m not too into travelling, but love Park City, Utah.  Great mountains, food, art and yoga!

What word describes you best?
Dedicated

What drives you every day?
I would have to say coffee has a pretty big role.

Whom do you admire?
Hillary Clinton, Dalai Lama, my mother-in-law Marlene O’Neil

What is your mission?
To leave the world a little kinder than when I arrived.

What books are you reading right now?
The Walking Dead, Compendium Two  -- but I really like the show.

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Featured Teacher: Katherine Yannucci

Why do you practice
It helps me on my spiritual journey and keeps my body and mind flexible.  It also helps me to relax.

Why do you teach?
I LOVE YOGA and I love sharing the benefits of yoga with others.  If I can positively influence more people thru this practice, I am all for it!  I can’t imagine staying quiet about something that can be so helpful to so many people.

Inspirations?
The following teachers who practice Ahimsa on a daily basis with their vegan diet and who make it an important part of their yoga practice.
David Life and Sharon Gannon from Jivamukti Yoga
Dharma Mittra from Dharma Yoga Center
Rossella Rossi-my first yoga mentor

Who have you trained with?
Rossella Rossi, Rodney Yee, Cyndi Lee, Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, Doug Keller, Gary Kraftsow, Richard Freeman, and many others

What style do you teach?
Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga and Yin-Yang Yoga (a combination of Yin and Vinyasa)

What’s your favorite food?
Indian Food

What’s your nickname?
Kathy or Katica-my Colombian family has always called me by this name.  It means “little Kathy.”

Do you own any animals?
Yes.  I have 2 yellow English Labradors named Zen and Rocco.

What’s on your playlist right now?
“Pilgrim Heart” album by Krishna Das

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
My purple lite Manduka yoga mat

What style influences your teaching?
Vinyasa by Rossella Rossi and Yin Yoga by Sarah Powers

Favorite yoga pose?
Triangle pose

Favorite quote?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
I don’t watch a lot of TV now, but when I was younger I used to like “Three’s Company.”

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
I like my given name so I wouldn’t change it.

Your favorite item of clothing?
My KATICA yoga pants that I designed

What did you want to be when you were little?
A social worker or someone who can help people.

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be? Why?
A monkey.  I love trees and used to enjoy climbing them as a child.  I also think it would be fun to swing from tree to tree.

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
Greece for my honeymoon.  We went to Mykonos, Santorini and Athens.  I loved the people, the food, and the sights.  What a beautiful country!!

What word describes you best?
Passionate

What drives you every day?
The wish to live a long and healthy life for myself and my family.

Whom do you admire?
People who take care of their health and especially people who make significant changes in their life to be healthier.  My motto is “don’t complain if you aren’t willing to do something about it.”

What is your mission?

“To design a lifestyle that inspires change.” 

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
Two of my neighbors whom I didn’t know that well at that time, took me by surprise when they offered to host a baby shower for me when we adopted my son, Andres.  It was really special and almost all of our neighbors attended.

Fun fact about you?
True to my Colombian roots, I LOVE to dance salsa and merengue.

What books are you reading right now?
A parenting book called “It’s Okay Not to Share.”

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Featured Teacher: Tom Griffith

Why do you practice?
I feel better on every level with each day.

Why do you teach?
I absolutely love it. Very literally helping others to help themselves, what better way to share ones passion?

Inspirations?
Martha and Jerry Marcom, the love, compassion and skill with which they live life in addition to their dedication to teaching and practicing Ashtanga yoga. I have watched as they have both shared this practice with so many happy people. I have also watched as they have both profoundly healed physically and all kidding aside aged gracefully as a result of practice and non-attachment.

Who have you trained with?
The Marcoms, Linda Oshins, Marcia Miller. For Ashtanga specifically Tim Miller every April at Yohi since 2005 (except one), Richard Freeman for a week long teacher training in 2007 and just last year here in Columbus, Maty Ezraty and a little with David Swenson and Manju Jois. So many great teachers at Yohi past and present.

What style do you teach?
Ashtanga but as they say around the studio I go both ways. I love to break things down into doable bits so that what may in fact be difficult becomes more approachable with a different perspective.

What’s your favorite food?
Southern BBQ.

What’s your nickname?
Tall Tom, Tbird and Tag. About three people in the world call me Tommy.

Do you own any animals?
I live with a cat called Persephone.

What’s on your playlist right now?
About this time of year I have Krishna Das’ Flow of Grace on constant rotation in the car.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
The half block. What can’t it do?

What style influences your teaching?
Tim Miller’s Surya Namaskara C and Richard Freeman’s metaphors have allowed me to stay rooted in my personal Ashtanga practice but to present what I know in fun yet challenging ways. Somewhere in there is a consistent repeated practice that is similar enough each week to know what changes (and what doesn’t) and subtle enough to stay with the experience long enough to experience it.

Favorite yoga pose?
This week, Bhujapidasana-arm pressure pose.

Favorite quote?

“Spread the toes of your buttocks.” -- Freeman

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Looney Tunes

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Tom

Your favorite item of clothing?
Blue leather blazer jacket.

What did you want to be when you were little?
Professional skateboarder / photographer.

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be?
Flying squirrel
Why?
Ok, maybe flying monkey.

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
Honeymoon in Prague.

What word describes you best?
agreeable

What drives you every day?
love

Whom do you admire?
Teachers

What is your mission?
To learn and help others

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
It is a very long story but the answer is bought me a leather jacket.

Fun fact about you?
Rymocerous

What books are you reading right now?
Just finished a reread of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

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Featured Teacher: Janet Braden

Why do you practice?
I practice to become a better person.  Practicing yoga brings me a deeper sense of calm, inner strength, balance and a clearer perspective on EVERYTHING.  I have more to offer others when I practice.

Why do you teach?
I want to share all of the benefits that I gain from yoga (and Pilates) with others.

Inspirations?
I am inspired by my family -- my husband and two children.  I am inspired by my students, my teachers, my friends and nature.

Who have you trained with?
Linda, Marcia and Martha and the rest of the amazing teachers at YoHi.   Tim Miller, Maty Ezraty, Cyndi Lee, David Swenson, Richard Freeman, Doug Keller and Rodney Yee.

What style do you teach?
I teach Vinyasa, Prenatal and Mommy & Baby yoga.  I also teach Stott Pilates.

What’s your favorite food?
Anything spicy!  I LOVE Thai food, coconut, avocados and dried mangos (the ones rolled in chile powder are delicious!).

What’s your nickname?
Mom!!!!!!’

Do you own any animals?
As of now we have 4 siamese cats : Isis, Duncan, Zeus & Buddha, and 1 shepherd mix dog : Helios.

What’s on your playlist right now?
KMFDM, the Pixies, Bob Marley & Fleetwood Mac.  I love 60’s and 70’s music (the Beatles, the Doors, Marvin Gaye).

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
My turquoise Manduka mat -- it reminds me of the ocean.

What style influences your teaching?
Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Pilates.

Favorite yoga pose?
I am fascinated with handstands right now and having lots of fun practicing them at home.  I enjoy all arm balances -- they remind me that a good sense of humor is a wonderful thing to have while practicing and also they make me feel like I am about 5 yrs. old (when we used to roll down large hills just for fun).

Favorite quote?

‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, your right.’ -- Henry Ford

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
House Hunters International.

What did you want to be when you were little?
A ballerina or a marine biologist.

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be?
Definitely a cat.

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?
I went on a cruise to Mexico and Jamaica with my Grandma when I was in my early twenties.  The entire trip was incredible and I will always hold dear the adventure that we had together.

What drives you every day?
Coffee :-).  Half joking on that  :-).  I guess trying to be the best person I can be whether it is Mom, wife, student, friend or teacher (all parts of ‘me’).  Every morning when I wake up my son, I say ‘It’s a brand new day!’, and we go from there.

Whom do you admire?
People who show kindness to others without requiring personal gain for themselves.

What is your mission?
To try to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
My husband turned me into a Wife and Mother.

Fun fact about you?
I could eat wasabi on just about anything and I am afraid of bugs.

What books are you reading right now?
The Ikea 2013 catalogue -- trying to find ideas on how to become a bit more organized at home!  I am also spending quite a bit of time ( A LOT) searching online for new recipes.  My husband and I are eating ‘Caveman style’ (natural foods) and it has been an interesting process.  Fun to try new things and see what makes ‘the cut’.

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Featured Teacher: Mary Ellen Bibyk

Why do you teach?
My goal in teaching is to help people live a more easeful, healthy life.

What style do you teach?
Hatha/Vinyasa -with an eye toward improving strength, balance and flexibility.

What style influences your teaching?
No one style influences my teaching.  Currently, the biggest influences are my personal practice and the people who attend my classes.

Why do you practice?
To remain strong: physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Favorite yoga pose?
I favor the combination of poses and warmups. I find a way to make each pose, each warmup compliment and support the others.

 

Inspirations?
My children, the people who attend my classes, the patients and families I’ve had the privilege to serve.

 

 

What books are you reading right now?
I admire Dan Silva’s writing style. I’ve read several of his books out of order. I’m currently rereading them in order.
I’m also rereading E. Tolle’s, A New Earth and L. Truss’, Eats Shoots & Leaves. My grammar teacher would be appalled by my wanton misuse of punctuation.

What did you want to be when you were little?
A nurse. I read every book I could find on Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale. They were terribly romanticised biographies, but served to inspire me nonetheless.

What’s your favorite food?
My Hungarian grandmother’s recipes. I love to adapt and create new recipes; I’m working on making healthier versions of her delightful dishes.

Your favorite item of clothing?
Given the current season, scarves. I can knit one up on a whim, thanks to my generous yarn stash.

What is you favorite TV show?
Maybe LOST, until the writers got -- lost. The characters were wonderfully fun.
Firefly/Serenity
are entertaining distractions and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, which I initially discovered on-line during the writers strike.

Favorite quote?

“I know it’s hard to be reconciled
not everything is exactly the way it ought to be
but please turn around and step into the future
leave memories behind
enter the land of hope”
-- Zhigniew Herbert

What’s on your playlist right now?
One Republic -- really, anything that Ryan Tedder has had a hand in.

Do you own any animals?
One mutt, a rescue. She is intelligent and playful, with a dash of crazy.

We recently lost our beloved cat to cancer. She was a gentle, loving soul and a wonderful snuggle buddy. I miss her very much.

 

 What’s your nickname?
My very best childhood friend called me ‘Ellie Mae’. She and her lovely family lit up my life during some dark times.

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
I would simply use my initials ‘M.E.‘, pronounced ‘Emmy’.
‘Mary Ellen’ is such a cumbersome mouthful.

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Featured Teacher: Ambre Emory-Maier

Why do you practice?   I practice to feel in touch with my true self, for the physical and emotional benefits and the enjoyment of moving.

Why do you teach?   Teaching is the act of sharing yourself and your gift’s from God with others. I teach to learn and be of service.

Inspirations?   The great saints, my family and the many people and students I come into contact with during my life.

Who have you trained with?  Many fabulous and wise teachers from the dance and somatics field.  Yogis-Marcia Miller, Linda OshinsDoug Keller, Swami Ramananda, Martha Marcom, Gail Sky among others.

What style do you teach?  Hatha, Vinyasa and Restorative and I have been known to teach Ashtanga in a pinch!

What’s your favorite food?   I love cookies, fruit, cheese, cucumber salad and hummus.

What’s your nickname? As many of them as you care to share.   Ruby  or Chief (given to me by my dance students from long ago).

Do you own any animals?  Yes--two dogs-pit bulls-Karma and Margie.  Would love to have more animals but we do not have the room. I have an adopted turkey in Western New York on a farm that rescues farm animals called Cracker Box Palace. I went to high school with one of its founders.

What’s on your playlist right now?   Christmas Music, R & B and Big Band.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory A block.

What style influences your teaching?   I come from a dance background so much of my classes are filled with movement or vinyasa type flow. Since I started off as an Ashtangi-I have a tendency to structure my classes similar to the Primary Series format. However, I add in somatic and physical therapy exercises work depending on the theme of the class. I also love to offer restoratives and chanting to my students.

Favorite yoga pose?   Right now, Gomukasana-Cow-faced pose.  Great hip and shoulder opener.

What is your favorite TV show of all time?   I cannot say I have a favorite but I loved Bewitched, Scooby Doo and I Dream of Jeanie as a child.

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?   I am okay with my name but I probably would have chosen the more traditional spelling.  Thanks Mom!

Your favorite item of clothing?   I love fuzzy socks and dresses. Dressing up is fun but I do not do it much.

What did you want to be when you were little?  A veterinarian and a TV star.  I aspired to be on the Mickey Mouse Club as a kid.

Best trip you’ve taken, or dream trip you’d like to take?   I love going to the Keys-Key Colony Beach or traveling overseas.

What word describes you best?  Can any one word describe someone?

What drives you every day?  To live my life well as it is a gift and to try and be of service in some way to others.

Whom do you admire?   My husband, my teachers, my mother and fabulous friends

What is your mission?  Same thing that drives me every day plus what is on the to-do list.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?  I have been shown innumerable kindness in my life.

Fun fact about you?  I have sailed across Lake Ontario to Canada many times

What books are you reading right now?   The Hobbit--it is the 75th anniversary of the book. The Life of Abraham.

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Featured Teacher: Jill NielsenFarrell

Why do you practice?
To remind myself I am a spiritual being having a human experience and not the other way around.

Why do you teach?
To spread the love.

Inspirations?
Exceptional people with exceptional challenges.

Who have you trained with?
Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Tej Kaur Khalsa, Jai Dev Singh and others.

What style do you teach?
Kundalini Yoga, Yo!

What’s your favorite food?
Sweet potato fries with vegan sour cream.

Do you own any animals?
A one-eyed Boston Terrier and a portly French Bulldog.

What’s on your playlist right now?
The Staple Sisters station on Pandora.

What’s your favorite yoga accessory?
My sheepskin, of course.

What style influences your teaching?
Chill humor and an inner awareness of the inter-connectedness of everything.

Favorite yoga pose?
Probably Ego Eradicator but it changes depending on what I’m working on.

What are you reading?
Traditional Chinese Medicine books.

Favorite quote?

Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. – Lao Tzu

What is your favorite TV show of all time?
Six Feet Under.

What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name?
Forest Princess

Your favorite item of clothing?
My new Yoga on High sweatshirt!

What did you want to be when you were little?
A veterinarian

In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be?
A wolf

Do you dream in color?
Yes

What word describes you best?
Effervescent.

What drives you every day?
Curiosity.

Who do you admire?
Short list: My mother, Elyn Saks, Paramahansa Yogananda, Annie Lamott, Leonard Cohen.

What is your mission?
To explore my own consciousness while living with courage and grace.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
After a particularly difficult time, a friend watched my sons every Monday night for about a year so I could go to Kundalini Yoga class. It saved us.

Fun fact about you?
I can curl my tongue into a clover shape.

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